by Debra Heine
Crime is skyrocketing in cities where police departments have been defunded, crime statistics show.
Since career criminal George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, last summer, many liberal city councils have voted to “defund” their police departments, allocating or redirecting municipal funds away from their police bureaus to other government agencies that serve “the community.”
More than 20 major cities have slashed their police budgets in some form, though the circumstances vary, according to Fox News.
The results are not pretty in cities like Portland, Los Angeles, Oakland, New York City, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Austin. “Overworked,” and “burned out” police officers in many of these cities meanwhile have been leaving in droves.
Murders in Portland reportedly tripled from July 2020 to February 2021, after “city commissioners voted to cut nearly $16 million from the police budget in response to complaints about police force and racial injustice.”
According to Fox News, in the first two months of 2021, seventeen people were murdered in Portland, a major increase from the one murder reported during the same time period in 2020.
Since July 1, 115 officers have left the Portland Police Bureau, and more departures are expected by the end of this month, OregonLive reported.
“The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists fantasy,” one retiring detective wrote in his exit statement obtained by OregonLive. “What’s worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly,” the cop added. “The only differences between the Titanic and PPB?” he continued. “Deck chairs and a band.”
The paper published 31 brutally frank exit interview statements from disgruntled employees who turned in their badges or retired as a result of the city’s notoriously liberal paralysis and disfunction.
Some of those who left said their heavy workload drove them out. One said everyone is “overworked, overwhelmed and burned out.”
Others said they felt their efforts to solve crimes or protect the public were for naught.
“Budget cuts, unit cuts that put the community at risk made working for Portlanders feel like a waste of effort,” one retiring patrol officer wrote.
The mass exodus has created significant vacancies, OregonLive noted. A total of 93 sworn officer positions and 43 civilian positions were unfilled as of mid-March.
Homicide rates in Oakland, California, have also spiked dramatically after city leaders set a goal to cut its police budget in half. Homicides rose 314 percent compared with the same time last year and police have seen a 113 percent increase in firearms assaults.
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, the city council diverted $1.1 million from the police department’s $193 million budget to the Office of Violence Prevention last July, and shifted another $8 million from the city’s $179 million policing budget to violence prevention programs in December.
After residents begged the city to hire more officers, the Minneapolis City Council in February voted unanimously to approve $6.4 million in additional funding that police had requested.
But the damage was done.
Between Dec. 11, 2020 and March 28 of this year, murders in Minneapolis rose by 46 percent compared to the same period last year.
Total violent crime in Minneapolis between July 22, 2020, and March 28 was also up 22% year-over-year – 3,692 this year compared to the 3,025 last year; the violent summer months appear to have caused such a significant increase, an analysis of Minneapolis Police Department statistics show.
Nearly 200 police officers filed paperwork to leave the force in the days and weeks after the George Floyd riots wrecked large parts of the city.
“It’s almost like a nuclear bomb hit the city, and the people who didn’t perish are standing around,” Officer Rich Walker Sr., a 16-year Minneapolis police veteran, said last July. “I’m still surprised that we’ve got cops showing up to work, to be honest.”
New York City, where the woke city council approved slashing $1 billion from the police budget last summer, has seen 76 murders already this year, compared with 68 from the same time period in 2020.
The City Council cut $484 million from the budget and reallocated another $354 million to other agencies like the Department of Education, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Department of Homeless Services. Another $162 million was slashed through “associated costs,” the council said in a statement.
Murders in New York City are up 11.8% year-to-date as of March 21, with 76 reported this year compared to the 68 from 2020, according to NYPD crime statistics.
The number of shootings rose 40.1% in 2021, with 220 reported as of March 21 compared to the 157 recorded shootings during the same time last year. Meanwhile, the number of shooting victims during that time period jumped 39%, from 177 in 2020 to 246 in 2021, police data shows.
According to Fox News, after city leaders in Los Angeles voted to cut the department’s budget by $150 million, the police department reported “a 38 percent increase in murders in 2020 and a 28.3 percent increase in murders in 2021 through March 13.”
After the city council in Austin voted to cut roughly one-third of the city’s $434 million police budget, aggravated assaults reportedly went up 26 percent in 2021 as of February, compared with the same period last year.
”We are showing the country how reinvestments from the police budget can actually make many people’s lives so much better and safer,” Gregorio Casar, a councilmember in Austin, Texas, who helped pass the major cut, told the Guardian on March 11. ”This will build momentum for changes to police budgets across the country.”
Chicago, meanwhile is seeing a huge surge in gun crimes, after the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted last summer to “redirect money from arresting people and locking them up to housing, health care and job creation.”
In March of 2021, there were 233 shooting incidents and 298 shooting victims, according to police data. In March of 2020, there were 146 shootings and 175 victims; in March 2019 there were 136 shooting incidents and 165 victims; and in 2018 there were also 136 shootings, with 151 victims.
Homicides in the Windy City were up 33 percent in the first three months of the year compared to 2020, while shootings went up nearly 40 percent for the same period year-over-year.
San Francisco’s Richmond district has seen a dramatic rise in the number of burglaries, spiking an incredible 342.9% this year, according to data from the city’s police department.
The San Francisco Police Department reported a total of 124 burglaries in Richmond as of Feb. 14, compared to 28 burglaries for the same period a year ago. Meanwhile overall burglaries in the city are up 62.5% with 1,123 burglaries reported as of Feb. 14 compared to 691 for the same period a year ago.
In addition, robberies, assaults, motor vehicle thefts, and arson in the Richmond district increased by 90.9%, 50%, 58.3%, and 25%, respectively, while rape and larceny theft decreased by 75% and 56.6%, respectively.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed outlined a series of police reforms last June, including an official policy forbidding officers from responding to calls that do not involve a threat to public safety.
The city also said at the time that it would strengthen police accountability policies, ban the use of military-grade weapons and divert funding to address disparities in the Black community.
In July, Breed also announced a $120 million budget cut to police and sheriff’s departments over the next two years. In addition, San Francisco asked police and fire fighter unions to delay raises for two years in order to save an additional $270 million.
In 2020, Seattle, Washington saw the highest number of homicides in 26 years, after the city council voted to slash the police department’s $400 million budget by about $3 million.
The city also saw a 20 percent rise in burglaries and property crimes in 2020.
Shattered glass, a damaged door and most of the high end beauty products stolen from The Wax Bar.
A Seattle beauty shop had its windows smashed, door damaged, and most of its high end beauty products stolen during a recent burglary.
The owner Mac Jahn said he filed a police report and an officer showed up.
“I suggested to the officer there’s probably film on the building security,” Jahn said.
“He just kind of told me in so many words that they don’t really have the bandwidth to do that,” Jahn said. “Like a property crime is not a priority.”
All across the nation, thousands of unfortunate Americans are finding out what misplaced priorities look like.
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Debra Heine reports for American Greatness.